Prime Minister John Key has announced the people of Christchurch and Kaiapoi will have a say on what happens to red zone residential land.
More than 7000 flat-land properties in Christchurch and Kaiapoi have been red zoned because of earthquake damage.
Speaking to 700 people at a Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Christchurch on Thursday, Mr Key said that while the land is severely damaged, new ways of using it can be found.
He said the Government wants to hear from the public what they'd like to see happen to the land, which mostly borders the Avon River.
Mr Key gave examples of some of the things people might like to see are parks, playing fields and cycleways.
Although ownership and infrastructure issues will need to be sorted first, he said further details on how the consultation will be carried out will be released by the middle of this year.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton says people already have ideas in mind for the future of the residential red zone.
Mr Sutton said people and organisations have already been thinking about projects.